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Author Topic: Want feedback on control panel and button layout  (Read 25525 times)

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Want feedback on control panel and button layout
« on: January 15, 2009, 04:30:37 pm »
I am designing my arcade control panel and was wanting some feedback on its control as well as button layout.  I know it's a bit of Frank-n-Panel, but I am trying to maximize the number of games, and emulators, that can be played. 

It has your 4 player positions.  First and second players has dual joysticks for the likes Smash TV.  Each player also has a spinner which I intend to occasionally used for driving purposes.  It has a Asteroids configuration which can also be used in conjunction with the 4-way joystick.  The trackball is position in a way to hopefully allow Golden-Tee and Bowling.  The trackball also has 3 buttons on both sides for Missle Command, Centipede, and the like, as well as for mouse buttons.  Those same buttons are also in line with the TT2 spinners.  Lastly, there is a dedicated Discs-of-Tron spinner and stick for my favorite game of all time.

I also tried to get creative with the button layouts on player 1 and 2 using 8 buttons to maximize their usage.  Above are some of the possibilities with this configuration.

Let me know what you think and tell me if I am crazy for such a layout.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 04:34:11 pm by zallax »

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Re: Want feedback on control panel and button layout
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 04:42:32 pm »
I hope you're the only one playing it, because you're going to confuse the hell out of any guests who want to play. (and don't think instruction cards will help....they don't....people never read them)


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Re: Want feedback on control panel and button layout
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 04:56:36 pm »
In all design, I always have to remind myself less is more. I usually put everything in place as you have done and take away what I don't need.

I like many have a 4 player panel, and if you want all 4 joys to get used, don't angle 3 and 4. If you put them directly next to 1 and 2, you can use the player 3 and 4 joys for smash tv/ total carnage. As for the placement of the 4 way, I just wonder, wouldn't you rather just get a 4/8 way selectable joystick?

 For the next thing I would change would be to modify the path in front of the trackball. If you ever want to have a buddy over for beers and golden tee, he will, within about 5 minutes, smash his hand into anything you have in the path of the swing.

As for the control layouts, I think its all and all pretty good. I usually leave a Street fighter layout, and put two extra buttons below. That way you get the neo geo layout, and you end up having enough buttons for consoles.

Sorry to rant, but just my opinions (take em or leave em ;D)


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Re: Want feedback on control panel and button layout
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 05:20:39 pm »
I think you are crazy for such a layout (your words!  ;D).  48(!) buttons (and probably 52 because you can't leave out the pinball flippers)!!!  I wouldn't have the slightest idea what to press when a game started - nevermind a wife/girlfriend or even your buddies who come over for a few beers from time to time.  It's just too confusing.   One of my cabs has a single player 3 button CP that is clearly labeled and I get questions all the time on how to start a game, what button does what, etc. and that only runs vertical MAME games! 

It sounds like you want to be able to run "everything" on this cab but in my experience I think it is best to pick one set of controls and go with it.  I honestly don't understand why anyone would deviate from the Knievel/Project Arcade CP (unless as in your case you NEED a Tron stick or something funky because that's your "must have" game).  That set up plays a ton of games with minimal confusion AND it looks great, IMO.

Just my $0.02.   :cheers:


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Re: Want feedback on control panel and button layout
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 05:25:25 pm »
re: Button layout

I went with a similar (but a little different) layout... and for many of the same reasons (i.e. you were considering other emulators and game consoles).

I haven't had any issues at all (even though some people here on the board suggested that my button layout was less than optimal.... but that's OK... that's why we ask the questions in the first place... to get feedback).  I really don't think that you will have any problem either.

re: confusing players w/button layout

It's not really confusing.  It *is* different than the original... but then again, your panel isn't a copy of any original panel... it's a universal panel intended for a "one size fits all" approach.

Players figure it out real fast.... after all, it doesn't cost them a quarter for each game (does it?).  It might take one game to catch on... but that's about it.

My 4 and 5 year old grandchildren figure out my layout real fast for each different emulator that I run.... and I don't have to say a word.

I'd say if you're happy with your button layout... go for it.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 05:29:08 pm by paulscade »
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Re: Want feedback on control panel and button layout
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 06:26:47 pm »
A little busy for me, but I don't do console emus, so I'm coming from a little different veiw.  I agree with others that clearing stuff out might help in general, but only have a couple notes or things to test on cardboard mockup of CP.

Are you going to light up your buttons, so only the buttons used are lit?

For the nes button map, I'd use the right most buttons on the middle row instead of the left most.  I don't like the buttons I use "buried" inside buttons I don't.  A cardboard mockup might help you decide.

MK button map, cool, but what about mk3 dash button?  Would SF2 be "better" is it used the mk 5 button plus the upper left button for a curved, angled 6 button layout, instead of a straight offset layout?  (FWIW, I prefer striaght box, and I'd prefer the one you show, but some like curved.)  A cardboard mockup is a great way to test.

What 4 spinner games are you thinking of?  Warlords and ...?  Or when you said "each player" you only ment players 1 & 2?  (Poblably the latter, as you only draw two.) 

Are the joysticks going to be in the way of playing the spinner with steering wheel?  Did I mention a cardboard mockup?

Do the joysticks, buttons and TB get in the way of the DOT spinner, asteroids buttons, etc?  Okay I won't say it again, but ... cardboard mockup.

How about 3 player driving games like supersprint, ivan ironman offroad, etc?  What about roarty joystick games like ikari & heavy barrel?  What about forgotten worlds?  (not that you need every game, but I love these games, and you said as many as possible ;))

FWIW, I went the multiple CPs direction, don't have a 4 player CP, and (a repeat) don't do console emus.  So I'll understand if you decide not to simplify, etc. :cheers:
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